Magento – Sales Tax Rates and Defaults

This is a tiny little post because I was a bit confused about why my Magento store would be showing sales tax to my visitor before it knew the shipping destination!

To set rates and locations and all that good stuff, there’s a good page in the Magento forum here.

There’s also a little sneaky configuration thing I missed which is in the System Configuration. There, under the Sales section, is a module called Tax. Under Tax we find “Default Tax Origin Calculation,” which is a bit of a misnomer, I think. Unless someone can explain it better to me, this is actually a Default Tax Destination Calculation.

When this is filled in, your customers see this tax rate in the basket. The actual tax isn’t applied until we know where we’re shipping. In our case, we really didn’t want to see any tax until we knew for sure where the order was being shipped.

Hope this helps. If no one else, future me will likely be helped by having noted this!